Need to know facts about grey divorce and retirement benefits


As we have mentioned before on this blog, divorce among older people is on the rise. Although there is nothing wrong with divorcing later in life — in fact, some experts say it can be beneficial for spouses who have long struggled to make their marriage work — it could lead to some complications that we’d like our readers to be aware of.

One thing grey divorcees should be aware of is that divorce can have an effect on their retirement benefits. As you may already know, when you reach the age of 62, the Social Security Administration lets you begin collecting retirement benefits. If you are married, you may also be eligible for spousal benefits as well. And if certain requirements are met, so too can divorced spouses.

This is the part of retirement benefits that is most affected by divorce but may not be well understood. According to SSA, a person who is eligible for disability or retirement benefits may collect benefits based on their ex-spouses record provided they meet the certain requirements such as: your ex-spouse is unmarried and is age 62 or older, and your marriage lasted at least 10 years.

But just like any legal issue, these benefits are riddled with exceptions that do not apply to everyone, which is why it is important to direct your questions about divorce and retirement benefits to someone knowledgeable in the subject area. Whether this person works for the SSA or is a lawyer, getting answers now can certainly help mitigate potential complications down the road, which is something many of our readers likely want to avoid as well.

Source: The Social Security Administration, “Retirement Planner: Benefits For Your Divorced Spouse,” Accessed Aug. 20, 2014